California’s San Bernardino County and its surrounding region are home to more than 50 nursing homes and skilled care facilities licensed by Medicare and Medicaid. That figure is expected to grow over the coming years, as the world’s greatest generation ages. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, also known as CMS, performs regular inspections of all licensed nursing home and skilled care facilities under its oversight. The data resulting from these inspections are made available to the public on the CMS’s website. Each facility’s profile describes the most recent three inspections performed at each facility. The information encompassed in these profiles includes:
- Information about recent complaint investigations;
- Penalties resulting from those investigations;
- Citations issued in connection to violations of public health law;
- Outcomes of revisits following inspections;
- Health inspection data;
- Total staffing and Registered Nurse staffing;
- Quality of resident care;
- Resident census data;
- Fire and safety inspections;
- Ownership information
The CMS makes this data freely available as a public service. It is not the only data source used to create the Nursing Home Compare tool, however. Other databases include:
- Payroll-Based Journal System: this system allows nursing homes to report their staffing data with respect to the resident census.
- Minimum Data Set National Database: data found here are entered by the nursing homes themselves. They use this data to manage all their residents’ health collectively, as well as at an individual level.
- Medicare Claims Database: these data describe care from the perspective of billing. Discharges and readmissions are indicators of the care given to a resident.
The CMS developed a grading system based on the collection of all the above data. Each facility is given an overall star rating and graded in several sub-categories. Each grade is out of 5 stars. The more stars awarded, the better the score.
It is important to note that none of the scores are intended to be an endorsement or condemnation by the CMS or Walton Law APC.